ANDERSON - Worms.
Kids in the “Dig In!” reading program at the Anderson Public Library like to learn about them, and many are worms themselves. Bookworms that is.
Children at the Lapel branch spent a part of their Thursday afternoon racing paper worms and picking out new books.
“I like the fun projects, reading books and getting prizes,” Brayden Pruitt, 6, said.
He’s a fan of “I-Spy” books and of making objects out of items like marshmallows and toothpicks.
The Anderson Public Library has been hosting the “Dig In!” program for kids ages 6 to 12, along with many other reading programs for children of all ages, since the beginning of the summer. And it’ll continue to do so until the end of the season.
“Dig In!” is held at the main branch in Anderson, 111 E. 12th St., Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2 to 3 p.m., and at the Lapel branch, 610 Main St., on Thursdays from 2 to 3 p.m. with activities featuring guest speakers who talk about topics like burrowing animals, movies, games and more.
“They can expect to come find other kids and have fun,” said Susan Robinson, children services manager at the main branch in Anderson.
She said they try to use community resources, such as naturalists from Mounds State Park, to “connect kids with things in the community.”
She added that they’ve seen more school-aged children this year than last - 53 at the largest session - a fact she’s “very pleased” with as the library aims to reach more kids.
“If they read during the summer, they’re less likely to have a loss at school,” she said, as studies suggest students who read over the summer retain more information.
They even try to keep schools informed of who’s reading at the library.
And, Robinson just wants the kids to leave with a “love of reading.”
Cassaundra Day, supervisor at the Lapel branch, said they have a different theme every week, such as gardening, dinosaurs and those ever so popular worms. July has more of a family theme, she added.
The kids get to play games like word searches and mazes and receive free books.
Robinson said the kids receive prizes every time they rack up 100 minutes of reading time - up to 500 minutes - and can choose “whatever suits their fancy” from a variety of choices. Though many pick books anyways, she added.
Day said they want the kids to become familiar with the library and “see reading can be fun.”
“I like it (Dig In!) because there’s a lot of good books,” said Brock Harper, 9, at the Lapel Library.
He lifted a book with a dinosaur and komodo dragon on the cover as an example.
Miles Taulmen, 5, loves to build stuff and made sure to grab hold of a Lego book. He really enjoys playing with his police and firemen Legos.
Staci Terrell, teen services librarian at the main branch, said the teen theme is Beneath the Surface with activities like the creation of book trailers and lessons revolving around the revolutions of the world. She typically sees up to 25 kids in each session.
“I just want teens to realize Anderson Public Library serves them just as much as anyone else in the community,” she said, adding she wants to keep them interested in reading.
Anderson Public Library’s summer reading sessions will wrap up Aug. 1 with a party featuring the Cirque Amongus and a cakewalk-like raffle with reconditioned bicycles, smart tablets and other prizes at 2 p.m. in Lapel and 6 p.m. in Anderson.
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